The City of Homestead will save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars with an innovative recycling facility that reduces waste and generates profit. The cutting-edge operation produces a high-demand organic fertilizer from bio waste material that, otherwise, would have ended up at a landfill. This environmentally advantageous process dries biosolids from the city’s water treatment plant using solar energy and then processes the material in a first-of-its kind composter that converts it into a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer for local agriculture.
This wave of the future operation leads the way in municipal green technology by reducing landfill waste, converting bio waste into organic fertilizer, saving money and generating profit.
“The City of Homestead is proud to be the first to create this innovative alternative to land fill application of wastewater biosolids,” said Julio Brea, Director of Public Works and City Engineer. “This ground-breaking low-energy process will result in a large reduction in city’s operating costs and will generate profit from the sale of the organic fertilizer.”
The cutting-edge waste water composting operation, which was created in partnership with South Dade Soil and Water Conservation District (SDSWCD), will save the City $200,000 per year in disposal costs. It will also assist the local agricultural community by turning the city’s biosolids into Class AA compost. Sold under the name Homestead Organix, it will be available to local growers as a nutrient-rich fertilizer. This highly organic fertilizer holds many benefits for farmers and landscapers, including an 80% savings over chemical fertilizers, and that it retains water, therefore, requiring less irrigation.
“The value of these nutrient-rich organic fertilizers for conventional agriculture is tremendous,” said Marc Ellenby, owner of LNB Groves, a Homestead citrus farm. “The nutrients are released slowly over time, rather than a quick intense release, so the plants can get fed each day in small amounts. The slow release is apparent in the heavy rainy season, when a conventional fertilizer would dissolve, travel past the root zone and be missed by the plant.” The new composting facility has also been designed and built to accommodate more than the present volume of waste water biosolids produced by the city, thus allowing for future growth. The facility has the option of contracting to take waste material from other nearby municipalities at a fair tipping fee to save them disposal costs and to provide more income for the city.
This win-win green technology will prove to be an environmentally and economically advantageous operation for the City of Homestead, its residents and agricultural community. Invitations are being sent out to local, state and national organizations to tour this facility and learn how they too can benefit from this model operation.
The ribbon cutting and tour of the facility will take place Tuesday, December 17 at 10:30 am at the Homestead Water Treatment Plant 551 SE 8th Street Homestead, FL 33030